I would like to say “Happy New Year”, but first we must acknowledge a sad passing. One of our own and a fixture of both the British car hobby and the British car industry has passed away. Charles Runyan, founder and head of The Roadster Factory passed away Saturday, December 22 at the age of 72. Charles was also the founder of The Coventry Inn. In 1978, Runyan started The Roadster Factory in Downtown Indiana before moving it out to Armagh. His love of British culture also extended into the restaurant field as he was the driving force behind The Coventry Inn, a replica of a British pub which was open for 25 years in Downtown Indiana. It closed in September due to a lack of employees. I do not need to tell any of you how much Runyan and […]
An amazing collection of British classics including a 1968 Triumph TR5, a 1975 Bristol 411 Series 4, a 1971 Jaguar E-Type Series III V12 Roadster and a 1933 MG J2 Midget will head to auction at the CCA September Sale at the Warwickshire Event Centre on 15th September. An incredible 1968 Triumph TR5 on offer at the September Sale is undoubtedly one of the best in the country, following a painstakingly millimeter-perfect rebuild on a brand new factory spec chassis. The six-cylinder 2.5-litre engine has been fully rebuilt, including a new head suitable for use with unleaded fuel, and a full tune-up to give maximum performance. The bodywork has been completely rebuilt with new inner and outer sills along with a multi-coat repaint in a wonderful shade of Signal Red. Along with the repaint the TR5 comes with a brand new […]
Nearly 200 Triumphs and their owners gathered at the Radisson Hotel in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin, for the 2018 VTR National Annual Convention. A reception Tuesday evening kicked off the show’s autocross competition, riverboat rides, local driving tours, and rallies. The big events — the Participants Choice and the Concours Show – blossomed Friday along the mighty Mississippi in Riverside Park. Among the entrants were three rare Triumph Italia 2000 GTs from eastern Pennsylvania. Each was restored by Ragtops & Roadsters, with body, paint and upholstery work done by its sister shop Pollock Auto Restoration. Ragtops specialize in restoration and preservation of all British and European sports cars. From left to right; Vignale #194, restored by R&R in 1995, earned a Preservation Award with 385.5 points out a perfect score of 400 points — not too shabby after 23 years! Finished […]
This week we are going to take a look at a scarce true classic, the Triumph Roadster. In the case of this video from Classic Cars UK series by Ian Sandall, the car is, in fact, a beautiful red 1948 Triumph Roadster 1800. The Triumph Roadster was produced by the Standard Motor Company from 1946 to 1949. It was first available as the Triumph 1800 Roadster from 1946 to 1948 and then as the Triumph 2000 Roadster from 1948 to 1949. Remember that Standard had purchased Triumph in 1945. So, at this point, the parent company was Standard, but the brand was indeed Triumph.
The 2018 Kastner Cup will be contested at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Historics at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Beaver, Pa., July 6-8. Triumphs will run within their respective race groups with other sports cars throughout the weekend and the Kastner Cup will be a dedicated 40-minute all-Triumph race July 7 at approximately 4 p.m.
David Townsend of Sports Car Art has announced a new collection of prints featuring the evolution of different models of classic British sports cars. These works are available either as prints for framing or as backlit or unlit box displays. Currently available titles include: • Triumph TR3 • Triumph TR4-TR6 • Jaguar XK • Jaguar E-Type • MGA • MGB • Austin-Healey 100 • MG T-Type
Avon Tyres’ acclaimed Cobra tires have been selected as the original equipment (OE) fitment tires for two stylish new bikes launched by Triumph Motorcycles. The British manufacturer unveiled the two new motorcycles, the Triumph Speedmaster and Triumph Bobber Black, at an event last Tuesday.
Our video this week comes from the popular British television show Wheeler Dealers. Even though one of the main guys on the show has recently been replaced, the episode we are looking at is before that. Back when Edd China was still on. But he is not the focus of the video, a 1980 Triumph Spitfire is. In case you don’t know, Wheel Dealers features two presenters (in this case Edd China and Mike Brewer) on a mission to save old and repairable enthusiast vehicles, by repairing or otherwise improving an example of a particular make and model to a budget, then selling it to a new owner. Basically, we are talking flipping cars instead of houses. Along the way, you learn the finer and not so fine points of these cars and have fun watching other folk muck about in […]
Our Video of the Week the go round comes by way of John Clancy of TriumphDVDs. This is a good look at the recent 2017 edition of the TR Drivers Club Bullet Run. This was the second edition of the run. TR Drivers Club Bullet Run 2017 re-tracing the old Triumph test route through the Peak District. Run in memory of David Keepax, Triumph Stylist, who sadly died in October 2016. Special guests this year are TRDC Honorary President, Harris Mann, Triumph Stylist and colleague of Dave Keepax, John Ashford and Triumph Development Engineer, David Jeanes.
Note: We published an announcement of this A Life in Car Design – Jaguar, Lotus, TVR by Oliver Winterbottom last month, and now our friend John Clancy has contributed this review. In my opinion, the wedge era of the 1970s and 80s was the high point of automotive styling. In particular, it was the sports cars from that period that really cut the mustard. Among the British entries into the market, there was one man who was behind more sports car styles than anyone else, Oliver Winterbottom. This is the autobiography of his career. From his apprenticeship with William Lyons’ Jaguar in 1961, working for Colin Chapman at Lotus, TVR, General Motors and his period as a consultant in China, this book gives an insight into what it took to get his designs into production [or not] with an authority that can only be relayed […]
This Friday sees the second running of the TR Drivers Club’s ‘Bullet Run’. A weekend of leisurely organized driving through some of the most picturesque locations undertaken by Triumph test drivers and engineers when the cars were being developed. This year will re-trace the route through the beautiful Peak District. The whole event is based around the high-quality Jury’s Inn Hinckley Island Hotel near Nuneaton.
Giovanni Michelotti was a prolific designer, who styled cars for Ferrari, Maserati, BMW and Triumph, designing some of the latter’s most successful cars in the postwar era. When you look at a Triumph TR4, Spitfire, Stag or Herald, you are looking at Michelotti’s work. Giovanni Michelotti will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame on June 2, 2017.
From his position as Competition Director for Standard-Triumph in the United States, R.W. “Kas” Kastner was the guiding influence and prime instigator for the company’s success, essentially writing the book on how to successfully race cars on a budget and setting the standard for others in the industry to follow. He will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame on June 2, 2017. Kastner’s experience in the automotive industry spans over 50 years. He has particular experience in the field of performance vehicles and automotive racing and racing team management. Triumph powered cars still participate annually in the appropriately named Kastner Cup.
Instead of using caffeine to wake you up, how about a nice brisk morning drive in a beautiful Triumph TR3A? Via the fine folks at Petrolicious, our Video of the Week the go rounds is titled “A Triumph TR3A to Warm Up a Cold Morning“. Another soft spot for me since I once owned a small-mouth TR3, although admittedly I sold it before the was put back together enough to see road time.
Whether you know it or not, you very possibly already have a part produced by Clark & Clark Specialty Products on your car. I met Robert Clark at the recent BMTA conference, and he explained to me that their parts for a variety of marques and ranging from seat belt retainers and battery boxes to hood lifts and carburetor caps are sold by mass-market vendors including Moss, Victoria British, and The Roadster Factory. After discussing the ins and outs of engineering, development, and production, we then got down to the real business of the parts he produces. One of the newest items in their line was of particular interest to me – a replacement for the telescoping trunk support used by my Triumph Spitfire 1500. The original type supports are quite common on all types of MGs and Triumphs, and while […]
For our last Video of the Week of 2016 I thought we would take a look at one of the still affordable and often overlooked classics out there. A car that could very easily be in the Sunbeam Tiger category of collectibles. Our Video of the Week this time around is a Buyer’s Guide to the Triumph TR8. This video was produced in 2015 by Hagerty, the classic car insurance folk. In many ways, the comparison to the Sunbeam Tiger is a good one. Both cars are the V8 derivative of their more common 4-cylinder counterpart. Both were produced in limited numbers, and both were ignored as collectible for a long time. In the case of the Triumph, it still is for the most part. Although that may be beginning to change, a quick search online will find nice examples till […]
For students of the history of Jaguar Cars, a book written by Chris Cowin, first 2012 and republished 2014 may be of interest. The book, British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978 is simply packed with interesting history. This is the comprehensive story of a collection of once great and diverse British industries, primarily automotive, and their slow but relentless move toward destruction with only a few surviving pieces, Jaguar and Land Rover. For Jaguar only followers much of this book may be irrelevant as it deals in great detail about the downward spiral of the largest indigenous British car companies beginning about 1968 but this date is approximate.
Our Thanksgiving Video of the Week (VotW) comes to us by way of the fine Canadian folks of Men & Motors. Titled “Classic British Cars in America”, this is obviously a subject we can all be thankful for. In this video from just over three years ago, the M&M folks make their way to English Motors in Macomb, Michigan, which I believe is now closed, to look at some great British cars and talk about the fascination Americans have with them. Adrian Bell is in Detroit, Michigan talking about classic British cars. He meets British car enthusiast Sue Snyder who shows him her 1980 MG MGB which she has owned since it was new, plus Don Ensloe shows Adrian around his car garage which specialises in maintaining and restoring British cars for their American owners.
Our video of the week this time is a preview of an amazing new DVD set, The Standard Triumph Story, that I was given the honor of reviewing. This is two DVD set with over 230 minutes of footage on the history of Standard Triumph from the early days to the very end. Yup, it’s almost four hours in total so it’s a rather extensive look at one of Britain’s most beloved producers of cars. It is crammed full of great interviews with the men who were responsible for the cars in the factory, on the racetrack, and just about everywhere else in between.
I got an email from reader Joanna Ellis this past weekend that intrigued me, so I asked her about her most recent adventure. First the initial email… I raced a 1965 TR4A in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s in the US at Bryar Motor Sports Park (now New Hampshire Motor Speedway), Lime Rock Park, Bridgehampton, and others. I still own my 1962 Triumph TR3B and a 1967 Triumph TR250. I just returned from the VTR National Convention in Texas where I was privileged to drive my brother’s ’62 TR3B. What fun!!! I’ve also raced a ’62 XKE and a nice AH Bugeye Sprite. Long time British car fan, Joanna Ellis With a history like that, how could I not ask for more?! Here are the details she sent us on the VTR National convention… I flew down (after driving my MINI […]